Restaurant Karelia in Helsinki
Lunch on weekdays from 11 am to 2.30 pm.
The Karelia restaurant offers a buffet table from Monday to Friday serving soup, three main courses, fresh salads and fresh bread. Coffee or tea is included.
Chef Pekka Pärssinen: “Good food is honest!”
Since 2011, Karelia Restaurant has been run by chef Pekka Pärssinen. He has a multi-decade experience in food and restaurants.
The Karelian culture has been passed on to Pekka Pärssinen by his childhood family. His father was a Karelian evacuee.
“With the Karelians I feel like I’m at home,” says Pekka Pärssinen.
The Karelia Restaurant offers lunch on weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm. The restaurant also holds events such as weddings, family celebrations, memorial services and even dances. The restaurant, lobby and banquet hall can seat up to five hundred guests.
The restaurant serves long-distance passengers with parking right in front of the restaurant for cars as well as for buses.
The restaurant also provides catering services to outside locations.
Pekka Pärssinen characterizes good food by saying that it is honest. Good food is made of good raw materials and tastes good. Pärssinen insists that no special tricks are needed in preparing delicious food that also fills your stomach.
Because of his Karelian background, Pärssinen is familiar with the Karelian food tradition. Traditional Karelian dishes are Karelian hot pot, Karelian pasty, pork stewed in the oven, mushroom salads and various kinds of pies.
Pärssinen is also experienced in international cuisine. He has worked, among many other countries, in Japan and in Vietnam.
“When you plan a menu, you have to take cultural differences into account” says Pärssinen.
As an example Pärssinen gives the Japanese to whom white is the colour of sorrow. “Therefore white tablecloths are not suitable for happy parties”, Pärssinen says.
In his kitchen Pärssinen likes to create variations of different recipes, but creating a completely new dish is challenging. “Finding a new dish is more difficult than finding a new star in the sky,” he laughs.
Food professionals are often asked what the secret to good food is. Many chefs state that cream and butter are the essence of a perfect dish, but Pekka Pärssinen has an opinion of his own:
“For me the secret ingredient is onion.”
Restaurant Karelia, Käpylänkuja 1, 00610 Helsinki
Open from Monday till Friday at 10-16
Lunch at 11-14.30